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How many categories were probably close calls

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  • Emmyfan
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    #56600

    Which categories do you think were very close calls? 

    Do you think that 2002 was a close with Nicole Kidman (The Hours) winning over Julianne Moore (Far From Heaven) and Renee Zellweger?

    What others do you think were close calls?

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    Laactingnyc
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    #56602

    1962 – Anne Bancroft and Bette Davis. In my opninion Bette Davis should have won.

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    JulieF
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    #56603

    I immediately thought you were just asking about this year.  I believe that the Documentary, Actress, and Editing categories may have been close.  Same with Cinematography.  Maybe it soothes my ego to think so, considering they were ones I missed.

    In the past, Blanchett/Madsen and Christie/Cotillard may have been close.  I really liked the eventual winners.

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    Emmyfan
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    #56604

    Does anyone think that the year that Cher won for Moonstruck was a close call?

    I think that Katharine Hepburn for Long Day’s Journey Into Night might have been a close second or is it that I wanted her to win for her devasting performance.

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    tonorlo
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    #56605

    1962 was a pretty murky year for Best Actress, with no clear favorite (it is rightfully remembered today as one of the strongest years in the category). But the people we assume were out front today (Hepburn, Davis) had some pretty significant x-factors working against them, and the long-considered runners-up (Page, Remick) were probably in better positions than we give them credit for today.

    Page’s nomination was her third in nine years, and she had gotten her first Best Actress nom just two years before. Despite a rather erratic film output, when Page stepped up to bat, she got attention.

    Remick had been a walk-on starlet just five years earlier when she made her film debut in 1957’s “A Face in the Crowd.” She had risen rapidly through the ranks, and there was a big “who knew?” factor tied into her galvanizing dramatic work in “Days of Wine and Roses.” The film received a Golden Globe nomination for Best Picture-Drama, and in a less stacked year, it probably could have gotten a Best Picture nomination. What probably handicapped both Page and Remick was the fact that their performances depended a great deal on the chemistry they shared with their leading men, whereas Bancroft, Davis and Hepburn had more room to shine independently in their respective films.

    Hepburn’s biggest problem at the time was the fact that her vehicle was practically impossible to sell. (The plays of Eugene O’Neill, despite the meaty characters making them up, are extremely difficult to translate well on film- see Rosalind Russell in “Mourning Becomes Electra”). Hepburn was on nomination number seven, and certainly seemed like a second win waiting to happen, but it really wasn’t until the time of “Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner?”/Spencer Tracy’s death that Katharine Hepburn was really “minted” in the American conciousness as a living legend, which gave her a nice heft of momentum for what translated into her second, third and fourth Oscar wins. And unlike “Long Day’s Journey,” all three films for which Hepburn won her latter Oscars were box office hits and received healthy critical acclaim.       

    “What Ever Happened to Baby Jane?” was a surprise smash at the time, and Davis actually probably stood as good a chance to win this Oscar as any of her other nominations. But Davis effectively shot herself in the foot. Finding herself temporarily unemployed after “Jane,” she placed an advertisement in the trade papers offering her services as an actress, and noting that she was “more affable than rumor would have it.” Some saw it as tongue-in-cheek, but the ad rubbed most people the wrong way (it was definitely the Melissa Leo “Consider” campaign of its time). The ad truly backfired and Davis got a lot of flack for it.

    One could argue thusly that Bancroft was something of a de facto frontrunner, neck-and-neck with Davis (of all these women, her vehicle probably came the closest to getting a Best Picture nomination, as it scored Directing and Writing nods). Bancroft had also risen through the ranks over the past decade (mostly playing a succession of ethnic women), and she had a certain Viola Davis-esque appreciation among a number of people who made up the backbone of the industry. “The Miracle Worker” was certainly the most distinguished film out of the lineup, Bancroft gave a good performance, she was perceived as a hard worker who was worthy of recognition… It was probably a close race, but likely not as close as we think it was.    
      

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    Troy
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    #56606

    I am thinking the year Berry won that Spacek was a close second.

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    tonorlo
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    #56607

    Spacek definitely had momentum all season long in ’02 up to the SAG Awards, where Berry triumphed. There was also an eleventh-hour surge for Nicole Kidman in the two weeks before the Oscar ceremony, but the conventional instinct by Oscar night was that it would be Berry or Spacek.

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    CAROL-CHANNING
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    #56608

    I’d venture to say Best Supporting Actress 2007 (Tilda Swinton’s year) was very close.  I mean, there was really no front runner at all for that category that year.  It wasn’t even a battle between two (like Streep/Davis this year).  Have there been any other races in previous years that were as up in the air as that one?

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    Carbon Based Lifeform
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    #56609

    I’d venture to say Best Supporting Actress 2007 (Tilda Swinton’s year) was very close.  I mean, there was really no front runner at all for that category that year.  It wasn’t even a battle between two (like Streep/Davis this year).  Have there been any other races in previous years that were as up in the air as that one?

    Personally, I thought Ms Swinton would win and it would be a career win. She had been making movies since 1986(!) and MICHAEL CLAYTON was her first–and only–Oscar nomination/win, which is an outrage.

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    Carbon Based Lifeform
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    #56610

    1962 was a pretty murky year for Best Actress, with no clear favorite (it is rightfully remembered today as one of the strongest years in the category). But the people we assume were out front today (Hepburn, Davis) had some pretty significant x-factors working against them, and the long-considered runners-up (Page, Remick) were probably in better positions than we give them credit for today.

    Page’s nomination was her third in nine years, and she had gotten her first Best Actress nom just two years before. Despite a rather erratic film output, when Page stepped up to bat, she got attention.

    Remick had been a walk-on starlet just five years earlier when she made her film debut in 1957’s “A Face in the Crowd.” She had risen rapidly through the ranks, and there was a big “who knew?” factor tied into her galvanizing dramatic work in “Days of Wine and Roses.” The film received a Golden Globe nomination for Best Picture-Drama, and in a less stacked year, it probably could have gotten a Best Picture nomination. What probably handicapped both Page and Remick was the fact that their performances depended a great deal on the chemistry they shared with their leading men, whereas Bancroft, Davis and Hepburn had more room to shine independently in their respective films.

    Hepburn’s biggest problem at the time was the fact that her vehicle was practically impossible to sell. (The plays of Eugene O’Neill, despite the meaty characters making them up, are extremely difficult to translate well on film- see Rosalind Russell in “Mourning Becomes Electra”). Hepburn was on nomination number seven, and certainly seemed like a second win waiting to happen, but it really wasn’t until the time of “Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner?”/Spencer Tracy’s death that Katharine Hepburn was really “minted” in the American conciousness as a living legend, which gave her a nice heft of momentum for what translated into her second, third and fourth Oscar wins. And unlike “Long Day’s Journey,” all three films for which Hepburn won her latter Oscars were box office hits and received healthy critical acclaim.       

    “What Ever Happened to Baby Jane?” was a surprise smash at the time, and Davis actually probably stood as good a chance to win this Oscar as any of her other nominations. But Davis effectively shot herself in the foot. Finding herself temporarily unemployed after “Jane,” she placed an advertisement in the trade papers offering her services as an actress, and noting that she was “more affable than rumor would have it.” Some saw it as tongue-in-cheek, but the ad rubbed most people the wrong way (it was definitely the Melissa Leo “Consider” campaign of its time). The ad truly backfired and Davis got a lot of flack for it.

    One could argue thusly that Bancroft was something of a de facto frontrunner, neck-and-neck with Davis (of all these women, her vehicle probably came the closest to getting a Best Picture nomination, as it scored Directing and Writing nods). Bancroft had also risen through the ranks over the past decade (mostly playing a succession of ethnic women), and she had a certain Viola Davis-esque appreciation among a number of people who made up the backbone of the industry. “The Miracle Worker” was certainly the most distinguished film out of the lineup, Bancroft gave a good performance, she was perceived as a hard worker who was worthy of recognition… It was probably a close race, but likely not as close as we think it was.    
      

    I don’t begrudge Anne Bancroft her Oscar–hers was a phenomenal performance in a first-rate film–but any of the nominated actresses would have been a worthy winner that year, and so there will always be harbored the suspicion that somebody was robbed.

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    Carbon Based Lifeform
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    #56611

    I can’t imagine CRASH won by a huge margin…  The worst not to mention most offensive BP nominee that year…  Let it snow?

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    babypook
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    #56612

    ^
    Lol!

    What if I told you (again) that I dont have the heart to Trash-Crash? Even though I was rooting for that other film. I suspect, it was a very close race.

    I suspect that the Eddie MurphyAlan Arkin/Burt Reynolds/Robin Williams race in ’98 and ’07 were close as well.

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    Madson Melo
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    #56613

    I’d venture to say Best Supporting Actress 2007 (Tilda Swinton’s year) was very close.  I mean, there was really no front runner at all for that category that year.  It wasn’t even a battle between two (like Streep/Davis this year).  Have there been any other races in previous years that were as up in the air as that one?

    I assume both Ruby Dee (career win, SAG winner) or Amy Ryan (beloved by the critics) could’ve won that night, I seriously doubt that Blanchett had a chance (even with a GG win) to triumph in this category again so soon and Saoirse Ronan (my favorite) wasn’t a factor, I put Swinton in 3rd but I was kind shocked when she won (even with her BAFTA win).

    So, that’s my question, what was the ‘favorite’ that night? Dee, Ryan, Swinton or Blanchett?

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    Alijah Purdy
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    #56614

    I think the year that was between Felicity Huffman and Reese Witherspoon, I really dont think Reese won by that big of a margin. Huffman is the only thing that made that film watchable!

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    tonorlo
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    #56615

    In the ’07 Supporting Actress race, by Oscar night, I can only say that I remember settling uncomfortably on Blanchett by Oscar night. I remember thinking of Swinton as a viable wild card, as she had won the BAFTA, but…

    My heart had been with Amy Ryan all season long, but aside from critics’ awards, she had failed to win any of the important precursors, so by Oscar night, I had long reconciled myself to the idea that she was effectively out of the race.

    The Academy went through a period in the early-to-mid 2000s where it was unusually receptive to young female performances; Ronan’s nomination was her reward, and she never generated enough steam to make her seem like another Anna Paquin waiting to happen. (We may well see her back in the nominees’ circle one of these days.)

    Every once in a while, a SAG winner happens that rightly or wrongly but immediately strikes me as huge fluke (Johnny Depp’s win for “Pirates of the Caribbean” over frontrunners Sean Penn and Bill Murray comes to mind), and Ruby Dee’s win for “American Gangster” immediately struck me as such. It was a nod to her career much more than her performance, well-done as it was. But- and much as I hate to say this, because I do consider Dee a great artist- her speech at the SAGs confirmed for me that there was no way she was going to get enough votes to win an Oscar. It was frankly uncomfortable to watch Dee’s speech in that she seemed to be very unsteady and unsure of herself, and I got a similar vibe from watching the audience as she soldiered her way through to the end of her remarks- I’m sure she was caught off guard by her win as much as anything else, but I remember thinking to myself that this was not a moment that voters would want to repeat at the Oscars. The longer Dee went on, one felt less and less the sense of seeing a living legend being properly noticed, and more and more the sense of an elderly woman who seemed frankly uncomfortable in the spotlight. For that admittedly unfair reason alone, I never considered Dee a real possibility for the Oscar, despite her SAG win. (There was also the practical consideration that her role consituted what was essentially a cameo appearance, and her character was not a catalyst for any action in the film, ala similarly short performances like Judi Dench in “Shakespeare in Love” and Joseph Schildkraut in “The Life of Emile Zola.” Dee in “American Gangster” is much more comparable to Hermione Baddeley in “Room at the Top”…. she makes an impression, but she could be deleted from the film without disturbing the storyline.) 

    Thus, Blanchett, who at least had the Golden Globe attached to her performance, and who was riding high on a steady stream of nominations, seemed like the best bet to me at the time. Everyone knew there was no way she was winning Best Actress for “Elizabeth: The Golden Age,” but she was an Academy darling, and if Hilary Swank, who surfaced in the big leagues at much the same time as Blanchett, could win two Oscars in such quick succession, why not Blanchett?  

    In hindsight, I feel foolish for having overlooked Swinton. The BAFTA alone should have indicated where the last-minute momentum was going, and “Michael Clayton” was certainly the strongest film represented in the Best Supporting Actress lineup. Beyond all that, Swinton really was overdue for her first nomination… it was good to see her finally recognized.  
       

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